I am the type of person who can easily become worried. I work very hard (Let me insert pray, instead of work) so that I'm not distracted by worries. I absolutely hate worrying. It has brought me no comfort. It makes me irritable(Richard can verify this) as well as truly makes me ill. Complete with nausea and headaches, etc. But currently I can feel this overwhelming sense of fear approaching. I didn't think it would happen. At least not like this. You see, I knew that Richard wanted to be an officer. I had no problems with this. Who am I to deny him what he (and now I) believe to be what he should be doing! I researched everything. And I mean EVERY police statistic that is out there. The chances of him dying are greater by so many other factors than with him on the street. Greater in a car, etc. So this actually brought me comfort. Okay, but then he comes home yesterday. A day like any other day. Except this day is just a little different. You see yesterday was the first day he brought IT home. I knew this day was coming. In fact, I bought a Safe so that I would feel so much more at ease. But I had never SEEN it. And then it hit. I am not fearful that my children will get to it. I am not fearful that someone will try to hurt my husband. What I am fearful of is this....When I looked at IT , my thoughts tumbled in so many directions. How can something so little be so dangerous? How is it that just looking at IT makes my heart race and my palms get sweaty? It is the cause of so much death wrapped up in black metal. I guess for me it's that death by a gun can come from any hand. Strong or weak. And that is what frightens me. That something so cold, can bring death so quickly, and to someone so much weaker. That someone can have no value for their life or the life of another, that this is so quick. There is so much power in that gray and black steel. And that is what frightens me. Richard wants me to learn how to shoot it. I don't think I can even touch it. As my thoughts have been lingering on this since last night, I noticed that EVERY person who walked by Richard with his uniform on, their vision went straight to his waist. So, does that mean I'm not the only one with this fear? I'm not sure, but for now I just pray that God guides Richard's hands each and every minute! I'm sure there will be more on this later, for now it's all I can write....
First and foremost, can I say I told You So, to just a particular person that Dani was going to win Survivor!! And did you see the previews for the upcoming season! It looks VERY exciting! Can't wait for that one to start! Now, on to the updates! Since I last wrote so many new things! First, Richard is officially a police officer, and can I say how handsome he looks in his new little uniform! His graduation was so incredibly nice and I was honored to meet the chief or should I type CHIEF? I also was able to meet a Lt.(which I will abbreviate since I'm not sure how to spell that!) and two officers who came from his department just to support him and another recruit who will be working there. Now let me go into a little detail here. Richard attended the St.Louis County and Municipal Police Department, meaning that it's made up of every city in St.Louis County and then the county itself has a very large department that is a police force of it's own. So, needless to say there were a lot of places represented and it was very nice to see. The class honored a fallen police officer and his family and that was a very emotional thing for me. Enough on that, as I may not be able to continue typing! Then on Wednesday evening it go cold! And I mean COLD! So on Thursday morning we woke up to BIG, FAT Snowflakes. It snowed all morning and all afternoon and by the end of the day we had a good four inches. The kids loved it! Carter thinks it's Christmas! Everything he sees, whether it's someone's house lit up, or Santa, or Snow, or making a Gingerbread house, or the bell ringers at Walmart he says, "Look, It's Christmas!" To me, this is the perfect meaning of Christmas! At this point, he doesn't think about it being presents under a tree or the actual day, to him it's a Season. I so want him to keep this idea! So, on with the updates! So Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, we got to stay at home and not leave! What fun that was! It's been a long time since we were forced to be still and I could not have enjoyed it more! Do I feel the beginnings of a sermon? Not yet, focus Melanie---updates! Then on Sunday we tried to get our family picture taken! I had us all dressed up to match (of Course!-don't you laugh Shannon Jackson!) and wouldn't you know everyone cooperated but Carter! He was ready to go to Bible Class(they give him stamps on his hand!) So instead of the perfect picture for our Christmas cards (yes I know I'm behind) we now have a great collection of Carter crying, Daddy getting Frustrated, Mommy consoling Carter, Braden looking at the lights, Nana's hand trying to keep Ashlyn from falling off the stairs, and Papa snapping away while we keep telling him to wait! So if you don't get a Christmas card, I apologize now and will try to put all the funny pictures up here. I'm not good at that, so It will have to be my husband who does it! So church was wonderful as usual! And as our preacher says, "If you're not giving, You're not worshipping"! Now before you comment, let me just say, he's NOT referring to the Offering! Focus, Focus...Okay so after church, we had a graduation party for Richard! What a tremendous turnout! Now, you know I'm not one to turn down a party...I think I make up events just so I can entertain! Anyway, it was an overwhelming outpouring of love and support from so many! It really meant a lot to me as well as to Richard, who loved a captive audience for his many stories! And then of course our weekend was ended with the winning of the million by Dani! Anyone else think there was something funny going on with her lips? Okay, so that's the update! Now, I'm off to check all of yours!
Well tomorrow night is Richard's Graduation from the Police Academy. He is so excited! He's just like a little boy! I keep telling him that every little boy's dream of Cops and Robbers is coming true for him! I'm so proud of him, I know you can't tell. This was such a big leap of faith for us( and will continue to be!) to leave such a stable job and home and loved friends to do this. But God has definitely rewarded me and my little family so richly! I'll try to finish this later---Chunky Buddy is calling for me!!
Okay, so we only had flurries, but it still snowed! Carter was so excited. :) I tried to explain to him that before long the snow will be taller than him, but he didn't understand! I can't wait till he sees it. Ashlyn remembers it from before, but he can't yet! I love watching them learn new things! This will be our first winter with REAL snow! Lots of Big, Deep Snow! Can you tell I'm really excited!
What a wonderful Sunday we had! Our small group had the opportunity to collect food for some well deserving families for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Sunday was our delivery day. I can definitley say the Blessing was all mine! What a joy it was for us to see their graciousness and their loving spirits when receiving this food! It truly is more blessed to give than receive! I hope you all have a wonderful Turkey Day! I can't wait to spend time relaxing, cooking, and most importantly Eating!!
Well after an exhausting 26 hours in the car for our weekend, we are back! We had a whirlwind trip, but it was so much fun and we were so blessed to get to see so many people. Our next trip we'll have ton more to see, so hopefully it won't be too long before we get back down there. One thing we did do was drive by our old house! Oh, HOW SAD! I know I had awful thoughts! Some of those were...How dare they plant POTTED FERNS :( in MY yard! My Begonias were there! And things like " I Want to See what THEY did to my house (inside)" Is this possessiveness normal? Ashlyn really wanted to go back to her room, but it belongs to someone else! Oh what wonderful memories in that home! But we've already had lots of wonderful memories in our new home as well as God will give us tons more!
Tomorrow I and the kids will be leaving on a whirlwind trip to visit Richard's grandmother and as many friends and family along the way! Pray for our safe travels to and from and for my sanity driving with three small children! Thank you again Lord for portable DVD players! And a funny story while I'm typing....Ashlyn and Carter have really been bickering for the last three or four days. Nothing Richard and I say or do " ;) " has really stopped them, so last night before bed they started arguing and as Carter is prone to do, started swinging at Ashlyn. Ashlyn loves to egg Carter on and before long tattled on her aggressive little Brother! So, as Daddy had had enough, he told Ashlyn that if Carter hit her again to just hit him back. As soon as the words came out of Richard's mouth, Carter was instantly afraid and stopped hitting Ashlyn. We thought this had ended the argument/fight. Boy, were we wrong! In the tiniest little voice, we hear from our four year old..." Carter, don't you want to hit me again?" Oh, the reasoning of children! God love 'em!
Well one of my favorite things is a Sunday afternoon nap! I love this nap more than any others. I'm not really sure why, but I love a warm blanket and just sleeping on Sundays! And yesterday it was rainy, so my nap was even better. Even my kids sleep better on Sundays and of course when it's raining! Anyone know why?
It's party day at school for the kids! After a meltdown with Ashlyn last night (the ear on her Minnie Mouse costume came off, and for those of you who know me and know that I don't own needle and thread, this was a HUGE ordeal) But Richard saved the day! No he did not duct tape it! The ears are now removeable and my husband fixed it! Yes, one ear is a little lopsided now! Carter is a pirate and has been practicing AARRGH for the last three days. Of course, like any two year old, when called upon to perform this magnificent piece, stage fright hits!! And little Braden is a chili pepper! Can't forget his Texas Roots! (Just FYI, he's a HUGE Longhorn fan! As soon as I can post the pic, you'll understand why!)
Well yesterday was pepper spray day at work for Richard. Poor thing. He actually did very well and didn't get it into his eyes the first time. After they were sprayed they had to run an obstacle course so he said that was tough considering it felt like his skin was peeling off! It did however get into his eyes when he started sweating and when he took a shower! At least he didn't scream like a woman like some of his comrades!!! Oh, the life of a policeman!! He should be back to normal in two days! Well, as normal as he gets! For those of you who know him, you know what I mean!
Well, this week has been very busy. From helping a family mourn at the beginning of the week, to watching funny movies last night! On Friday and Saturday I went to the Ladies Retreat at church. What a blessing it was to hear Donna Root speak to my heart! Richard stayed at home by himself and caught up on much needed rest and Ashlyn and Carter got to go to Nana and Papa's to stay the night! Papa is redoing the bathroom and promised them they could help him paint. Well....the kids fell asleep on the way home and were put straight to bed(at 7 pm-what were they thinking?) and of course they woke up at 2 am wanting to paint!! yea for Grandparents!! Yesterday afternoon we took the kids to a corn maze with our small group. Now for those of you who don't know what that is, let me explain how they do things here in the midwest for Halloween. They take a large cornfield and create a maze. (The one we went to is the Great Godfrey maze which the theme this year was the Wizard of Oz) You can check it out at www.GreatGodfreymaze.com Inside the maze are numbered markers and you have to answer a question correctly to get a clue as to which direction to turn! The questions were really hard! For example. Question #1 was : How many times is the word corn mentioned in the Bible? Now let me tell you that the questions got harder as you got closer to the exit!! Our kids loved it and they also had a pit of corn kernels that they got to play in. Just a footnote that at night it turns into a haunted maze! You won't find me in there after dark! Can you say Malachi? Anyway, that was our fun weekend! And for those of you who read this who haven't signed in( and you know who you are-all of you!!) You can comment you know!
This morning a family lost a husband, father, son, brother, and friend. What sadness! My heart breaks for this family. How do you comfort someone in a time like this? I'm reminded of a song I heard for the first time a couple of weeks ago. Here's what I Know off the top of my head.
"Love her like Jesus, Carry her to Him, His Yoke is easy, His burden is light. We don't have the answers to all of life's questions, just know that He loves them, and stay by their side, Love them like Jesus."
But in all this grief and darkness, a light shines! God has brought another one close to Him. What joy he must feel right now! Please keep this family in your thoughts. Help me love them like Jesus!
I have also been tagged....... First Memory: I remember being at my Grandmother's house and my Dad coming in to tell us that we had a baby sister. I was three. First Kiss: My mom when I was born, (the romantic stuff WILL NOT be for public knowledge) First Concert: Acapella (The great years, with Keith Lancaster and George Pendergrass and Rodney Britt) First Love: I'm not sure, I think everyday I find out more and more what love Really is. First thing I think in the Morning: Just a few more minutes! First Book I remember loving: Not sure, I loved the whole Nancy Drew series and the Hardy Boys( I really wanted to marry one!) First Pet: Bessie and Ernie(our Beagles) First Question when I get to Heaven: Don't know, I have so many. One of been contemplating recently(due to our small group study on Phillipians) is "When Jesus left Heaven in the form of a man, what did he miss the most?" First word I think of for Vacation: Sleeping In!! First Best Friend: Tara Davis (Kindergarten-Mud Pies!) Last Time I dressed up: Sunday morning for church Last thing I ate: I had a soda and a cookie for breakfast(yes, I know it's pathetic!) Last CD I bought: Casting Crowns -Lifesong Last time I cried: This morning when a good friend died. Last time I told someone I loved them: This morning to my children as I dropped them off at school. Last really fun thing I did: We went to a pumpkin patch on Saturday.! I love watching my children explore and do fun things! Last thing I watched on TV: Angels vs. Yankees last night Last Halloween Costume: I dont' remember. I know we dressed up, but can't remember as what? Last Concert- Mark Schultz
For the longest time I, as well as close friends and family have been praying that God would break my sister's heart and make her need for Him known. I got a phone call from her and in casual conversation she brought up her unsettled feelings and unhappiness with life in general. She has been working towards academic and financial goals really hard for the past three years. Now that those are accomplished she has finally realized she still isn't satisfied and knows that God is the answer! She is going to earnestly start her search for a church home! So now I'm researching churches in Dallas! Praise God!
You know, I always thought that my kids would never do certain things! Boy did I have a surprise coming for me! It seems my middle child has been acting out at school. It scares me that I can't make him what I want him to be, but how happy I am when he makes the decision to behave a certain way. I know God is the same way. I've always just thought I could make my children be Godly and I can make my kids be this or that. But a wise woman once told me that I'll never be able to make my children faithful. I can only be an example and be a faithful mother. I pray fervently for my children every day. God bless them and keep them close to you. May they seek you earnestly and may I be an example of You.
Have you ever thought about the story of Jesus raising Lazarus? I mean really thought about it? I've always studied it from Martha, Mary, and Jesus' point of view but never really Lazarus' point of view. What did he think about all this? Was he mad? He was in a great place. He was where he wanted to be, and then he's called back. How did his life change? Did he become a risk taker? Knowing what death held and the wonderful things awaiting him, did he live life differently? Do I live my life differently knowing that I have something so great waiting for me? Am I now a risk taker? Driving home from church Sunday night, I heard Ashlyn singing her heart out with Casting Crowns. Carter was trying his hardest to get the words out. ( He mostly just praised with his hands). What a pleasure that was. I remember thinking how wonderful that moment was and then to know that there is something so much better. I can't even begin to comprehend that kind of joy. I want so much to live without grave clothes holding me down. So that's my prayer for today! Be a risk taker for God. Live because I've already died!
My heart hurts for Carter. He hates dayschool! Not just that he doesn't want to go, he absolutely hates it. Specifically the aide in his little class. It hurts me to leave him in his class, but how do I leave my commitment at school? Do I let him try to get over it? And so until the answer is clear, I pray. I pray for Carter, that he'll learn to love his teacher and little friends. That the teacher will have a part of her heart softened for his little confused soul. And for me to know what to do as the mommy to make it all better!
I'd like to think that everyday is the start of something exciting. Unfortunately I let the Evil One take over my thoughts and God's work is not accomplished. I have always loved the idea of journaling. But, (don't we always have a but?) time never seemed available. I'm hoping (after reading some previous bloggers entries and the comments) that this will be a tool for encouragement, growth, and most of all accountability for myself. So with that said(whew! What an intro!) Here is to the Start of Something Exciting!